Thomas Jefferson School of Law Students and Professor Maurice Dyson speak at the National Action Network House of Justice
The attorneys discussed the need for greater documentation and consistent, persistent action to keep pressure on police forces, internal affairs, district attorneys and civilian review boards to do the right thing in holding police accountable for their actions. Tiffany Crutcher, sister of the slain Terence Crutcher, also spoke movingly about how the television reporters in the helicopters above callously and unfairly branded her brother as "bad dude," as the police shot her brother with his hands still in the air on tape for all to see. She shared how the police shot him and tazed him and proceeded to walk over him while he was dying without performing emergency aid or immediately seeking urgent medical assistance.
Many community leaders present spoke about a phenomenon where cities superficially put a person of color on civilian review boards but then fail to hold meetings or to take any action, including those long promised to be implemented only when faced with a lawsuit. The attorneys spoke passionately about the victim blaming that happens on a national scale whenever these incidents are covered in the media. They discussed the need to develop a public statistical report card for each city on how well the city is implementing reforms, including diversity hiring and implicit bias training for officers, investigators, and elected officials.
The law students were able to dialogue and network with prominent attorneys and civil rights leaders and hear moving stories from committed activists taking action in their communities around the country.